Great Britain will return home with a women’s hockey bronze after an enthralling 4-3 victory over India.
A seven-goal epic in the sweltering morning Tokyo heat saw Team GB exorcise the demons of the semi-final thrashing at the hands of the Netherlands.
With temperatures peaking above 40 degrees, Great Britain survived both the heat and a stunning Indian second quarter fight-back, with Grace Balsdon scoring the winner 12 minutes from time.
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The Indian side were competing in a women's hockey final for the first time in their history, and played superbly against the 2016 gold medalists to put on a thrilling spectacle.
A lively opening quarter saw Great Britain dominate possession but unable to breach Savita Punia in the Indian goal.
Punia made a string of excellent saves to frustrate the Brits in the opening stages, including a stunning left-handed save to deny Giselle Ansley.
The breakthrough came just 34 seconds into the second quarter however, Elena Rayer rewarded for an excellent run down the flank when Deep Grace Ekka could only deflect her drive into her own goal.
It was the turn of Great Britain’s keeper to play hero shortly after, as Maddie Hinch made a fantastic save with her stick to deny India on a rare foray forward.
The Brits doubled their lead through Sarah Robertson as she smashed a shot in off the post following an excellent move down the right.
Incredibly, Great Britain’s comfortable advantage was flipped on its head before half-time, as two rapid fire Indian goals were followed up by a Navjot Kaur strike to leave the Brits trailing at the halfway mark.
Hollie Pearne-Webb restored parity early into the third to settle British nerves, setting up a grandstand finish heading into the final quarter.
Inspired again by Punia, India defended valiantly to survive wave after wave of British attacks before the pressure finally told 11 minutes from time.
Balsdon’s powerful strike from a penalty corner put her side ahead for the second and final time, as the Brits held their nerve to take home bronze.
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